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How To Train a Labrador Puppy to Sleep Outside

If you are a new Labrador Retriever puppy mom or dad, you might be worried about training your new puppy to sleep outside. Since your puppy is very young, training them to sleep outside will not be nearly as challenging as it may seem!

How To Train a Labrador Puppy to Sleep Outside. You can train your Labrador puppy to sleep outside by making sure it has essentials that it needs such as water and a comfortable place to sleep and also that you use special and positive rewards in order to keep your puppy happy.

Remember, just like anything else, training your puppy to sleep outside takes love, kindness and patience!

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Essentials for Training for Labradors

In order to make sure that you can train your puppy to sleep outside, it is important to remember that puppies sometimes experience separation anxiety just like children do. Since this is a real thing, it is important to make sure that you provide essentials to make sure that your puppy is safe and comfortable in its home outside.

One important thing to make sure that your puppy has is water. If your puppy is going to be out for long periods of time, he or she needs enough water to last through the night. A puppy that is thirsty will howl and cry and keep you awake. It will also make training your puppy unpleasant if you do not provide them with water.

Having a bed or a kennel that is comfortable is equally as important as water. If you plan on putting your puppy in a doghouse, make sure that you supply blankets for the puppy to lay on. This way your puppy will feel safe and secure when they sleep, not to mention warm. Make sure that you have a place that is warm and comfortable, especially in seasons that are cold.

Also, it is important when building a doghouse for them to sleep in that you give them enough room to move. The shelter should be big enough for them to comfortably curl up in. Also, keep in mind that your puppy will grow bigger and bigger so make sure that they have room to grow.

Positive Rewards

Putting treats and toys in the area where your puppy is going to sleep will help to keep your puppy settled and happy. If you can make their outdoor sleeping an adventure area, they will feel that they are rewarded with sleeping outside instead of being punished and made to sleep outside. It is important that everything stays positive and that your puppy does not think of their outside sleeping area as a place with consequences that are negative or sad.

When your puppy looks around and sees treats that are in their area, they will think of sleeping as a tasty treat. These treats can encourage them to be happy when they are in their outside area. If you want to make it even more inviting, place exciting treats in their area even during the day so that they love their outdoor area.

Toys can help to ease your puppy’s anxiety when they are being trained to sleep outside. If they wake up in the middle of the night, they can have something to do to help them not be bored and give them something to play with. Placing things that are theirs such as personal play toys, can help them to feel like the area is theirs and that it is their own personal territory.

Patience in Training

Make sure that you show patience when you are training your Labrador Retriever puppy to sleep outside. Here are some steps to make sure that your training goes smoothly:

  • Playtime
  • Naptime
  • Alone Time
  • More Alone Time
  • Nighttime
  • Morning Time
  • Routine


Take the first couple of days to play with your puppy where they are going to sleep. Throw a ball or chase them around. Make the area feel fun and comfortable. Try to get them excited and get them to want to go to that area for playtime.


Since being comfortable is the most important part of your puppy’s transition to outside sleeping, make sure that your puppy is comfortable in their area. One way to assure this, is to take your puppy outside where they will sleep and sit with them while they take a nap in the daytime. This can help to conquer their fear of their area and to let them know their place is safe. Since nighttime can be a little intimidating, doing this during the day can be an important step.

Alone Time

After playtime, make sure that you give your puppy some alone time so that they can get used to being in their outside area alone. Do not go far from them or leave them for very long, but train them to understand that they need to have some alone time and help them to get used to their area.

More Alone Time

Come back to their outside sleep area and talk to them, maybe bringing them a special treat. Talk to them softly and tell them how good they are for being in their area. Make them confident of their area and help them to love where they are going to sleep. Each time that you leave, make sure that you stay away longer so that they get used to your absence. Leave for a while longer before you come back and praise them and encourage them each time you come back.


After your puppy gets used to trying out their new area during the day, give them a chance to spend more time outside at night. When it begins to get dark outside, make sure that you spend some time with your puppy by petting them and loving on them. Talk softly to them and tell them how good they did. Make sure that you tell them goodnight before you leave them for the night.

Make sure that you go outside and check on them every so often for the first few nights that they sleep outside alone. This will help them to be able to relax and be more confident.

Morning Time

When it is morning time, make sure that you go outside and take your Labrador Retriever puppy a special treat. Take some time to tell them good morning and to spend some time with them playing and enjoying each other.


Make sure that you develop a routine so that your puppy knows that they will see you each morning and each night before and after bedtime. This can help to take away their anxiety and let them know that you haven’t left them but that you are still here for them and rooting for them.

When Should You Train Your Labrador Puppy to Sleep Outside?

It is important to wait until your puppy is around 17 weeks before you begin training your puppy to sleep outside. There are multiple reasons that this is important such as:

  • Vaccination
  • Body Temperature Regulation
  • Size and Weight


Your puppy will have vaccinations at these ages:

  • 6-8 weeks
  • 10-12 weeks
  • 14-16 weeks

During this time, your puppy is not immune to different sicknesses and parasites. When your veterinarian schedules your puppy, your puppy will take the vaccinations and then will be safe from sicknesses that they can pick up at a number of different locations, including outside. It is the safest idea to make sure that you keep your Labrador Retriever puppy inside until after they have their immunizations.

Body Temperature Regulation

Just like a baby, a puppy does not have the body to keep a regulated temperature. Therefore, if it is too hot or too cold, it can make your puppy sick because they will not be able to stay cool or to stay warm. Also consider seasons such as wintertime when there is snow on the ground. This can be detrimental to your puppy’s health. By the time your puppy has had its last immunization, it should be big enough to regulate its own body temperature and transition to the outdoors.

Size and Weight

The size and weight that your puppy grows to can help to improve their health when they are sleeping outside. Give your puppy enough time to grow big enough and heavy enough to be safe when they venture in their new outdoor area.

If Sleeping Inside, Should I Train My Labrador Retriever Puppy?

If sleeping outside for your Labrador puppy is not an option, training your Lab puppy to sleep in a crate can help to provide them with a comfortable and safe place. This place can also be used at times when you are not home so that your puppy has a place to go that they are comfortable with and that they are not afraid.

If you choose to crate train your puppy, make sure that you have a crate that is big enough for your puppy to stand up in, to walk in and to lay down in. Since your Lab puppy will grow to be a very big dog, purchasing a large crate is important, but the size might be intimidating for your small puppy. Try purchasing a divider that you can move as your puppy grows bigger and bigger. This will help your puppy to feel more secure as he or she grows.